Brandon Diagnostic Error Lawyer
The diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions is a complex endeavor that requires years of training and, even when undertaken by the most conscientious of physicians, comes with a certain degree of risk. For this reason, patients are required to sign consent forms before they can obtain treatment, acknowledging that their treatment could come with risks or side effects. It is also true, however, that some injuries are not the result of a particularly complex procedure or take the form of a known risk, but are caused by a healthcare provider’s negligent conduct.
Although many people associate this type of claim with surgical mistakes or medication errors, one recent study revealed that it is actually diagnostic errors that account for the largest percentage of medical malpractice claims and also cause the most severe harm to patients. To learn more about the intricacies of a medical malpractice claim, please contact an experienced Brandon diagnostic error lawyer who can advise you.
What Qualifies as a Diagnostic Error?
Diagnostic errors are defined as a failure to:
- Provide an accurate and timely explanation for a person’s medical condition; or
- Communicate an accurate diagnosis to a patient.
There are numerous parts of the diagnosis process, so errors can take a number of different forms, but the three most common include:
- An incorrect diagnosis, in which a patient is diagnosed with one medical condition when there is evidence of another;
- A missed diagnosis, which occurs when a healthcare professional fails to diagnose any condition at all, despite the manifestation of symptoms; and
- A delayed diagnosis, which occurs when a physician receives test results indicating a specific medical condition, but fails to notify the patient in a timely manner.
These types of mistakes happen far too often. In fact, the Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 12 million people, or five percent of patients who seek outpatient care, are victims of an incorrect or delayed diagnosis.
Diagnostic errors have been linked to a wide range of causes, but most are the result of a healthcare professional’s failure to:
- Conduct an in-depth initial examination;
- Order, perform, or interpret the appropriate labs and tests;
- Follow-up with a patient to track his or her symptoms;
- Coordinate with any other healthcare professionals who are also providing a patient with care; and
- Communicate with patients regarding their symptoms, options, and potential diagnoses.
Although this type of conduct can affect any number of individuals who are suffering from a variety of medical conditions, it is also true that certain conditions tend to be misdiagnosed more often than others. For instance, specific cancers are often misdiagnosed because a doctor failed to adhere to screening guidelines, while aortic dissection is often misdiagnosed as heartburn. Unfortunately, delaying treatment for these medical conditions can result in permanent disability, chronic pain, or even death for patients.
Call Our Brandon Diagnostic Error Legal Team Today
Patients should be able to trust in the professionalism, training, and general expertise of their doctors. Fortunately, when healthcare professional’s fail to live up to these expectations, they can be held liable for the injuries that they cause. Please call 813-506-5651 to learn more about your legal options from one of the experienced diagnostic error lawyers at Palmer | Lopez today.